With the abundance of resources and knowledge available to us on the internet, information overload has become a popularized term that refers to the 21st century tendency of not being able to process information. The cause? We are being presented with an overwhelming amount of it and our brains just do not have the capacity to organize, interpret and comprehend it all. When using search engines such as Google, it is possible to find 1,150,000,000 search results on a topic in approximately 0.20 seconds. Out of those 1,150,000,000 results how many do you think are exactly relevant to what you are looking for? For many of us, the need to cut through the clutter and find specific and tailored content is real.
In an attempt to explore alternative methods of search and content curation, I experimented with RSS feeds. RSS Feeds stand for Really Simple Syndication and allow users to subscribe to certain feeds to receive updates from publishers on new content. I was looking for content that was specific to the topic ‘time management’ and subscribed to the following feeds from the source websites of articles that I found relevant to my topic.
After subscribing to the above mentioned feeds, I was presented with this list of all the latest headlines coming from my tailored subscribers list.
There are many benefits to using RSS feeds over standard search engines. The first is quite evident and quantifiable.- from 1,150, 000,000 to a much more manageable 190 results (amongst 10 different feeds). RSS feeds are something that I consciously opt-in to and gives me full control of the content I want to see in one centralized place. Such a characteristic is especially beneficial considering the vastness of information out there. The updated information is also conveniently in my browser, making it easily accessible. RSS feeds are very much like Twitter feeds, except with more substantial amounts of content that go beyond a 140 character limit. RSS feeds help offset the inconveniences of spam that comes from subscribing from email newsletters from your favourite sites, information overload, and time wasted sifting through the layers of the internet just to stay updated.